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Excellent all-around vehicle
Pros: Open feeling in a smaller vehicle with great moon roof.
Cons: Could have more spaceCould use more space for my personal usages but overall it meets a variety of needs well. Good winter car that allows for fun in the summer. I've been averaging 26-28 mpg over the life of the vehicle. Seats could have some extra padding.
Pros: Symmetrical AWD and better than expected actual mpg
Cons: Basic Outback not available in white
Advice: Don't believe EPA -- use on-board computer intantaneous mileage on test drive when comparingApplies to 2007 Basic Outback: Over 26 actual combined mpg per on-board computer, verified by manual calculation when refilling. Dealer indicates Subaru is negotiating for hybrid drive rights. Can't wait for a hybrid Basic Outback; it may rival our Prius for mpg in a larger, better handling, safer car. (Prius is only getting 40 mpg combined, well below EPA). Impressed with the engineering of the symmetrical AWD system. Cost of Prius and Basic Outback nearly identical. Cons: Basic Outback not available in white; gas fill on right instead of left side; no internal release lever for tail door and no keylock on passenger side (designed for FOB operation, but FOB is too fat for my keychain). Off-road suspension sacrifices ride comfort (for comfort get a Legacy wagon -- same as Outback except with lower-riding, smoother suspension).
Pros: It drives wonderfully with the 5 speed. The limited's interior is plush
Cons: Gas mileage and cramped interior.
Advice: Previous Subaru owners will love it. SUV owners may be scared away by it's cramped quarters.Test drove the 2.5 XT 5 speed, the 2.5i automatic and the 2.5i Limited 5 speed. The XT was incredible but I actually felt a bit stressed by the available acceleration! The 2.5i automatic didn't have the pep I wanted. The 2.5i 5 speed was just what I was looking for. Sporty, with good acceleration and lots of safety. Interior is a bit cramped if the whole family is aboard. Getting in and out of the driver's seat can be tricky. Gas mileage has been at the low end of the ratings, somewhere around 24-25 mpg. Considered older Outbacks but the resale is so high I went with a new 2006.
Cons: Very limited storage in the front passenger areas
Advice: Test drive both the XT limited with the turbo and the 3.0 with the V6 before you buy. Both are good but for different reasons.We drove this Subaru along with a Toyota Rav4 V6, Nissan Murano, and Honda CRV. The Subaru drove the most like a car, which is what we wanted. Handles curves well, very fun to drive. The LL Bean Edition provides the kinds of things you would like in an upscale wagon: V6, leather, heated seats, and even windshield wiper defrosters. The automatic tranmission is a bit twitchy when the air is on, but that can be remedied by going into 'sports shift' mode, which allows you to do clutchless shifting. If you want the utility of an SUV but the ride of a car, test drive this car with this trim (or 2.5XT Limited wagon)
Pros: 250 HP
Cons: 19-24 mpg
Advice: Get the 2.5 XTExcellent handling in the snow and rain. AWD, Comfortable leather seats. Huge sunroof, dual climate control, heated seats, Navigation. Loaded. Tested other cars with all of these options but they were thousands more. I also had tinted privacy windows, and self-dimming rearview mirror, and a trailor hitch installed. The turbo really propels this car! Great for New England weather..
Pros: awd/ heated seats/ gas mileage
Advice: buy one you'll love itAttractive, safe, handles great. Favorite car we've ever owned and would buy another one without hesitation. Many compliments on the looks of this vehicle and on the ride.